Sacha Baron Cohen said he wore a 56-inch fat suit as part of the Donald Trump disguise he used to sneak into a Mike Pence speech at a CPAC rally earlier this year while filming a scene in the new Borat movie sequel.
Cohen said one of the concerns about filming the stunt at the event was ‘How do I get in and how do I get out?’
He told the New York Times that event security had been on hand to ‘check everyone’s bodies going through.’
‘Bear in mind, I spent five hours in makeup that morning with the prosthetic team changing my face into Trump’s face,’ Cohen noted. ‘This fat suit is huge. It’s a 56-inch fat suit to turn my waist into Trump’s because we had estimated that was the most realistic.’
Sacha Baron Cohen (in Trump costume) filmed a scene during a Mike Pence speech for his upcoming Borat movie at a CPAC rally in Maryland in February
Cohen (in Trump costume) said that he wore a 56-inch fat suit and prosthetics and worried about getting in and out of the event because of all the security there
A still from the Borat movie sequel shows Cohen (in Trump costume, center) running through the rally location with an actress over his shoulder
Another still from the movie shows Cohen (as Borat) assembling his Trump costume
At one point, when the security guard’s metal detector wand began beeping, Cohen was forced to ad lib that it was defibrillator that was setting off the device.
Apparently it was a convincing excuse because Cohen was then able to hide in the bathroom ‘listening to conservative men go to the toilet for five hours until I broke into the room. We were surrounded by Secret Service and police and internal security,’ he said.
Although Cohen didn’t reveal details about what happened after he ‘broke into the room,’ photographers at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Maryland, caught the stunt in action on February 27.
News reports at the time quoted local police saying that a Trump impersonator had interrupted Pence’s speech about 10 minutes after it started and that the person was then escorted from the premises. No charges were filed against him.
Cohen has started to use his celebrity status to speak out about political topics for the first time because ‘democracy is in peril this year’
In the images from the event, Cohen – in Trump face – can be seen gesticulating with a shoeless woman in ripped stockings thrown over one shoulder.
The New York Times revealed that the woman was an actress playing Cohen’s Borat character’s daughter. She was meant to be a gift, from journalist Borat’s Kazakhstan homeland, for ‘Vice Premier’ Mike Pence.
In the movie’s recently released trailer, Cohen can be seen running through the crowded rally lobby with the actress on his shoulder and then, while standing amongst the audience, shouts ‘Michael Pen-is, I brought a girl for you!’ while gesturing at his ‘daughter.’
Cohen told the New York Times that it was imperative to him that the movie – titled Borat Subsequent Movie Film: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan – be released prior to the 2020 Presidential Election.
It was necessary, he said, because ‘we wanted it to be a reminder to women of who they’re voting for — or who they’re not voting for. If you’re a woman and you don’t vote against this guy, then know what you’re doing for your gender.’
While looking for a home for the movie, he said that streaming services he pitched were worried about the political content featured in the movie and the idea of it being released before the election.
Amazon Video ultimately bought the movie and will premiere it on October 23.
Cohen, an English comedian who lives in Los Angeles with actress wife Isla Fisher and their children, said that he’s seen how American society has changed since he shot the original Borat movie 15 years ago.
‘In 2005, you needed a character like Borat who was misogynist, racist, anti-Semitic to get people to reveal their inner prejudices,’ Cohen told the New York Times. ‘Now those inner prejudices are overt. Racists are proud of being racists.’
When the president is ‘an overt racist, an overt fascist,’ Cohen noted, ‘it allows the rest of society to change their dialogue, too.’
Despite this observation, Cohen – who is an observant Jew – said that the purpose of the Borat sequel was ‘not to expose racism and anti-Semitism.’
Cohen (right as Ali G) said that he has had a ‘longstanding distaste’ for Trump, which prompted him to interview him during a 2003 episode (pictured) of Da Ali G Show on HBO
Cohen, who lives with wife Isla Fisher (pictured together), in Los Angeles, said that he has seen a change in American society since he filmed the first Borat movie in 2005
Instead, he said, ‘The aim is to make people laugh, but we reveal the dangerous slide to authoritarianism.’
Cohen said that he has had a ‘longstanding distaste’ for Trump, which predated an Ali G Show gag with Trump back in 2003.
In that HBO series clip, Cohen – as his Ali G alter ego – pitched then-businessman Trump about a glove for eating ice cream that would prevent hands from getting sticky. During the pitch, Trump walks out of the room.
After the incident, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd said that Trump told her he thought Cohen – as Ali G – ‘was seriously retarded. It was a total con job. But my daughter Ivanka saw it and thought it was very cool.’
Cohen said that the reason he wanted to interview Trump as Ali G was because ”Obviously, I’ve realized that I’ve had a longstanding distaste for the president.’
Of Trump, Cohen said: ‘His brilliance was to commandeer the very term that was being used against him, “fake news,” and use it against every journalist that had journalistic integrity.’
The comedian also wondered what would happen if Trump were to be reelected – would America ‘become a democracy in name only, similar to a Turkish democracy or a Russian democracy?’
Although it doesn’t appear that Cohen and Trump have crossed paths since the 2003 taping, Trump did have plenty to say about Cohen after the premiere of The Dictator, which featured a gag in which Cohen spilled flour – supposedly the ashes of North Korea’s Kim Jong-il – on Ryan Seacrest at the 2012 Oscars.
In a YouTube video and on Twitter, Trump said that Seacrest’s security guard should have ‘pummeled’ and ‘punched’ Cohen ‘in the face so many times, he wouldn’t have known what happened.’
He also said that Cohen should’ve wound up at the hospital over the incident.
Trump’s tirade apparently reminded Cohen of what his father had said about Trump when he was running for president in 2016.
‘I remember my late father watching Trump on the campaign trail in 2016. I said, “What do you think of him?” He said, ‘Two things. He’s extremely entertaining. Far more entertaining than Hillary. Two, he’s a fascist,'” Cohen recalled.
‘My dad was born in 1932. He’d seen fascists on the streets, Mosley’s Blackshirts beating up Jews. And he knew what fascism was.’
Although Cohen had long been known as a celebrity who declined to be political, that changed in the wake of August 2017’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a counter-protester was killed.
Following the rally, Cohen said he got in touch with the director of the Anti-Defamation League, who then convinced him to give the keynote speech at 2019’s ADL summit, Never Is Now.
Cohen – who is now part of the Stop Hate for Profit campaign – said speaking at the event was ‘completely out of my comfort zone,’ adding that he’s ‘always been wary of using my fame to push any political views.’
‘It was the first time I’d ever given a major speech in my own voice but I felt like I had to ring the alarm bell and say that democracy is in peril this year,’ Cohen told the New York Times of his decision to give the speech.
‘I felt, even if it was going to destroy my career and people are going to come at me and say, “Just shut up, the last thing we need is another celebrity telling us what to do” — I fully understand people who do that — I felt I needed to do that to live with myself.’